solidDB

Analysis of hybrid memory-centric DBMS solidDB and its developer Solid Technology. Related subjects include:

July 12, 2012

Disk, flash, and RAM

Three months ago, I pointed out that it is hard to generalize about memory-centric database management, because there are so many different kinds. That said, there are some basic points that I’d like to record as background for any future discussion of the subject, focusing on differences between disk and RAM. And while I’m at it, I’ll throw in a few comments about flash memory as well.

This post would probably be better if I had actual numbers for the speeds of various kinds of silicon operations, but I’ll do what I can without them.

For most purposes, database speed is a function of a few kinds of number:

The amount of storage used is also important, both directly — storage hardware costs money — and because if you save storage via compression, you may get corresponding benefits in I/O. Power consumption and similar costs are usually tied to hardware efficiency; the less gear you use, the less floor space and cooling you may be able to get away with.

When databases move to RAM from spinning disk, major consequences include: Read more

April 7, 2012

Many kinds of memory-centric data management

I’m frequently asked to generalize in some way about in-memory or memory-centric data management. I can start:

Getting more specific than that is hard, however, because:

Consider, for example, some of the in-memory data management ideas kicking around. Read more

March 31, 2012

Our clients, and where they are located

From time to time, I disclose our vendor client lists. Another iteration is below, the first since a little over a year ago. To be clear:

For reasons explained below, I’ll group the clients geographically. Obviously, companies often have multiple locations, but this is approximately how it works from the standpoint of their interactions with me. Read more

July 22, 2011

McObject and eXtremeDB

I talked with McObject yesterday. McObject has two product lines, both of which are something like in-memory DBMS — eXtremeDB, which is the main one, and Perst. McObject has been around since at least 2003, probably has no venture capital, and probably has a very low double-digit number of employees.*

*I could be wrong in those guesses; as small companies go, McObject is unusually prone to secrecy games.

As best I understand:

My guess three years ago that eXtremeDB might emerge as an alternative to solidDB seems to have been borne out. McObject CEO Steve Graves says that the core of McObject’s business is OEMs, in sectors such as telecom equipment and defense/aerospace. That’s exactly solidDB’s traditional market, except that solidDB got acquired by IBM and deemphasized it.

I’ve said before that if I were starting a SaaS effort — and it wasn’t just focused on analytics — I’d look at using a memory-centric OODBMS. Perhaps eXtremeDB is worth looking at in such scenarios.

May 23, 2011

Traditional databases will eventually wind up in RAM

In January, 2010, I posited that it might be helpful to view data as being divided into three categories:

I won’t now stand by every nuance in that post, which may differ slightly from those in my more recent posts about machine-generated data and poly-structured databases. But one general idea is hard to dispute:

Traditional database data — records of human transactional activity, referred to as “Human/Tabular data above” — will not grow as fast as Moore’s Law makes computer chips cheaper.

And that point has a straightforward corollary, namely:

It will become ever more affordable to put traditional database data entirely into RAM.  Read more

March 18, 2009

Database implications if IBM acquires Sun

Reported or rumored merger discussions between IBM and Sun are generating huge amounts of discussion today (some links below). Here are some quick thoughts around the subject of how the IBM/Sun deal — if it happens — might affect the database management system industry. Read more

December 29, 2008

Ordinary OLTP DBMS vs. memory-centric processing

A correspondent from China wrote in to ask about products that matched the following application scenario: Read more

November 12, 2008

MySQL is being used in an IBM Lotus appliance

Apparently, IBM is rolling out an appliance for small businesses. MySQL is under the covers. The appliance won’t have a keyboard or monitor, so there won’t be a lot of database administration going on.

Before Solid and solidDB were acquired by IBM, one of the things Solid was proudest of was some embedded apps in which solidDB ran for years in boxes without keyboards or monitors.

I still think it’s a pity that IBM isn’t using solidDB as broadly as the technology deserves. Even so, this is a nice endorsement of MySQL for reliable zero-DBA mid-range use.

May 13, 2008

McObject eXtremeDB — a solidDB alternative

McObject — vendor of memory-centric DBMS eXtremeDB — is a tiny, tiny company, without a development team of the size one would think needed to turn out one or more highly-reliable DBMS. So I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about whether it’s a serious alternative to solidDB for embedded DBMS, e.g. in telecom equipment. However:

And they do seem to have some nice features, including Patricia tries (like solidDB), R-trees (for geospatial), and some kind of hybrid disk-centric/memory-centric operation.

March 11, 2008

IBM discontinues the solidDB MySQL engine

Last year, I thought that solidDB could at least potentially be an outstanding MySQL engine. But as per news posted on SourceForge last week, that’s not going to happen. At least, it’s not going to happen via any development efforts from IBM.

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